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Eating Half a Cup of Walnuts a Day Leads to a Happier State-of-Mind

Nov 21, 2016 04:00 AM EST
Half a cup of walnuts daily linked to improve mood in male young adults.
(Photo : Harry Engels/Getty Images)

A new study revealed that adding walnuts to daily diet could greatly improve the mood and overall state-of-mind of people.

The study, published in the journal Nutrients, suggests that consuming at least half a cup of walnuts daily could improve the mood of men by 28 percent. However, eating walnuts did not have the same beneficial effect in women.

"In the past, studies on walnuts have shown beneficial effects on many health outcomes like heart disease, diabetes and obesity," explained Peter Pribis, a Nutrition Professor at University of New Mexico and lead author of the study, in a press release. "Our study was different because we focused on cognition, and in this controlled randomized trial (CRT) we measured mood outcomes in males and females."

For the study, the researchers recruited 64 students between the ages 18 and 25 years. The researchers asked each participant to consume three slice of banana bread every day for sixteen week. The banana bread eaten by the participants will be different midway. Half a cup of finely grounded walnuts will be mixed in the banana bread that will be given to the participants for eight weeks. On the other hand, the participants will also receive banana bread without walnuts for eight weeks. The researchers made sure that the two banana breads have the same taste and appearance.

At the end of each eight-week period, the mood of the participants were measured using a validated questionnaire called Profiles of Mood States (POMS), which is considered to be one of the most widely used and accepted mood scales in studies of cognition.

The researchers observed that men have a significant improvement in their mood, about 28 percent, when they ate the banana bread with walnuts. However, the researchers did not observe same mood improvement in female participants.

With their findings, the researchers recommend the addition of walnuts to daily diet. Walnuts are not only good for the mood, but also overall health. The researchers recommend about a handful of walnuts daily.

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